Ariya Stark
Ariya Stark 4 June 2018
Categories Social Media

Social Media Databases: The Best Practices to Design a Working Database

The top-performing social networking sites including Facebook and Instagram require a perfect database design. Their user data, authentication data, user preferences, links between profiles, individual posts and everything else needs accurate mapping and conservation.

The most common database designs for social networking sites include quick reference functions, features for the addition and removal of social media sites and channels to your own database and the ability to filter sites based on multiple features. 

Almost 3 billion people use social networking sites regularly. 1.2 billion People use Facebook monthly, and Twitter is catching up fast too. There is an incredible amount of data you can find on these online sites. Social media and social networking depend on each other, although the terms are not interchangeable. Social media includes blogs, vlogs, images, news articles, social network posts, and pictures.

Why is creating the perfect social media database such a challenge?

 As you can understand already, social media management also involves the management of big data from multiple sources. Big data is like the bigfoot of the business world. However, you need to rendezvous with the very basics of big data management if you want to utilize your social media channels for marketing success. Once your business profile is up and running on multiple channels, you will get terabytes of data each day. There is no other way to manage this monumental amount of information unless you can find a reliable database or design one for yourself.

Designing a database for a business is not a joke. Even with the best expert programmer, it can take you months to create the perfect database with all the right indexes, fields and sorting system. You need an existing database, which is flexible, yet secure. You need to include backup features along with regular monitoring and recovery systems.

Your social media database should have the following features –

Focus on data management

You will find a lot of ready-to-use databases in the market, but they are for specific applications and functions only. Social media requires a dynamic database. Your database expert will need to add new fields and new features to your database on a regular basis. Try to include as many functionalities as possible and do not compromise on features, simply because a database service is cheaper compared to the one you need.

Keep it growing

A nascent business grows fast. You will need a flexible database that keeps room for rapid expansion. Social media experts often refer to this as requests per second of RPS. It decides how many users you can handle at the same time. Ideally, you should pick a session-heavy database for a high RPS limit. Do not skimp on the database investment or you might end up exhausting your session limit even before you hit your RPS maximum.

How to harness your database’s power?

If you are using multiple social media channels, we know how difficult it can be for you right now to manage all the information flowing in from all directions. You need a robust database design that can use easy applications to rake in more data, filter them, organize them and file them into the relevant rows. Creating a data dump might seem like an easier option, but it calls for much confusion. A data dump usually fails to pull the correct information at the hour of need. Do not go for an application, which is database independent. Go with conventional database designs for social media, which embrace the latest technological advancements in big data and machine learning. The ideal condition is the merger of the database and the application(s). It means you can use the database to reuse your design elements and add as many features as you please without rebuilding validation for the DB.

Ask for DBA assistance in the beginning

The ideal way to do this is to seek expert DBA help. It is true – maintaining a social media database without a database administrator is almost impossible. If you are running on a shoestring budget, you can seek remote DBA assistance as well for your latest social media projects and DB management. The ideal databases are the relational database management systems. They can map relations between the objects in your database and also reduce redundancy. If you are a programmer, you should never wait until the last leg of the development process to involve a DBA. Always consult a database administrator during the design phase, before the actual development process begins.

How will your database interact with the applications?

We find many companies prefer to use database layers to hide the database using programming objects. It makes it almost impossible for programmers and DBAs to tell the actual database data apart from the in-memory data from the social networking sites and social media channels. Programmers can always help you by writing codes to include added data interaction strategies for accurate results. While designing, do not forget to include every foreign key in the DB by using a particular index. A missing index can debilitate the query performance manifold. Make sure that your databases support partitioning. It will help your application evolve in the future.

Reuse ideas that work

Twitter uses a MySQL database to manage over 250 million Tweets per day perfectly. Of course, they have made their own changes and included a lot of advanced features, but their journey started from a basic MySQL database, which is also available to you right now! A good programmer can work with an experienced DBA to reverse engineer a reliable database. You need to consider your goals, different standard queries, access paths to your data and a security level before you can mention your requirements to your database designing team.

Social media databases sound cumbersome and expensive. However, they need not be so. By making sure your database meets all the criteria mentioned above, you will end up with a database system that will last you for years to come and accommodate all algorithm changes involving social networking sites and social media channels.

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